A Midwest classic, Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad has sweet and salty pretzels, a creamy filling, and real raspberries in the Jello. So addictive!
I love introducing my California friends to crazy Midwest recipes like this Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad.
I have several people who taste-test my recipes, all California natives, and they shook their heads in amazement at this unexpected, yet so delicious, combination of pretzels, cream cheese, and raspberry Jello.
In my world, this recipe comes from my friend Bobbi. She always made it for her 4th of July parties, so it seemed only appropriate that I share it near that holiday.
How to Make Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad
Start with a layer of crushed pretzels tossed in butter and sugar. That’s your base. As my friend Jana pointed out, you could just eat THAT all day long, no problems. I think Pretzel Brittle is in my future (and yours).
Bake the pretzel crust until golden and fragrant. Then, top with a delicious, creamy combination of cream cheese, sugar, and whipped topping.
Then, top with raspberry gelatin studded with lots of raspberries! Call it a salad call it dessert, but just make it and LOVE IT!
Take it To Go
Just out of personal curiosity, to see if it would work, I tried making this Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad in one of those disposable aluminum pans (the “half-size” which is 12-3/4″ x 10-3/4″ x 2-9/16″).
I baked the pretzels in the pan and it was just fine; there was no adjustment to the baking time. I finished assembling the salad with no issues, too.
However, when I was serving and eating the salad, the layer of pretzels felt too thick. Because there was a smaller surface area in the pan, the pretzel layer was taller (packed higher). I prefer the salad in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and the way the pretzels are more spread out in there. Just a thought!
Raspberry Pretzel Salad
For the pretzels:
- 2 cups pretzels crushed (about 8 ounces)
- 1 cup butter melted (2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the filling:
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups whipped topping thawed (from one 8-ounce container, see notes)
For the topping:
- 2 (3 ounce) packages raspberry gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 (12 ounce) packages frozen raspberries thawed
- whipped topping for garnish, optional
- Pretzels uncrushed, for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, add crushed pretzels, butter, and sugar. Toss well to combine.
- Press into an un-greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Stir in whipped topping until combined.
- Spread over pretzel crust and refrigerate until chilled (at least 30 minutes).
- In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in raspberries and chill until partially set. Carefully spoon over filling. Chill until firm, 4 to 6 hours.
- Garnish with additional whipped topping and pretzels if desired.
- The salad can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The pretzels will stay crunchy in the refrigerator. When you serve the salad, as it sits at room temperature for two to three hours, the pretzels will start to soften. But, in the refrigerator they will stay crunchy.
- 12 thin (stick) pretzels will yield about ½ cup crushed pretzels.
- To crush pretzels, place in a zipper-top plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or mallet. Or, place in a food processor and pulse until crushed.
- One 8-ounce container of whipped topping contains about 3 cups. This recipe calls for 2 cups whipped topping. You can use the last cup for garnish, if desired.